London, Jan 16 (IANS) Judd Trump edged UK Championship winner Neil Robertson in a thrilling quarterfinal match at the Masters at the Alexandra Palace here on Friday. The world No. 5 defeated Australia’s Robertson, ranked third in the world, with a 6-5 victory. The 26-year-old Trump is through to the Masters semis for the second time and will meet Barry Hawkins on Saturday afternoon, reports Xinhua. Trump went ahead 2-0 with breaks of 48 and 104, Robertson stormed back in the third frame then made a 139 for 2-2.
The Englishman regained a two frame lead, thanks to runs of 105 and 78, and again his opponent recovered, winning the seventh with a break of 100 and the eighth with 41 and 29. A total clearance of 140 made it 5-4 to Trump before Robertson levelled with a 78, the worldsnooker.com reported. Trump brilliantly potted a thin cut on a red to a blind center pocket, and Robertson could do nothing more than watch as the Englishman executed a series of cracking pots. Trump almost missed a blue to center early in the break – the ball bounced out of the pocket before dropping back in – but he remained in control and went on to make a match-winning 129.
“We both played as well as we can and it was definitely one of the best games I’ve been involved in – there could have been eight or nine centuries,” said Trump. He added, “I take a lot of confidence from it although we’re only halfway through the tournament so I can’t get carried away.” Robertson said: “It’s got to be the greatest Masters match ever, there’s no dispute about that. Judd played like he’s never played before, and I played my part as well.” World champion Stuart Bingham scored his best win of the season so far, beating John Higgins 6-3 to set up a semifinal showdown against favorite Ronnie O’Sullivan on Saturday night. Bingham had never previously been beyond the first round of the Masters, but a first round win over Ding Junhui this week was followed by a fine victory over four-time world champion Higgins.
The 39-year-old Bingham said, “To play Ronnie in London in the semis of the Masters, that’s what you pick up a cue for. I know I can beat him in big matches. He looked good yesterday against Mark Selby so I’ve got to play ten times better, but I’ve got a chance and I’ll be out to enjoy it.”